Osama Bin Laden's Death Photo: Worth the Peek?

osama bin laden deathNow that Osama bin Laden is dead, there may not be much fear of the Most Wanted Man in the World left floating around. But there sure is plenty of controversy. Because, heck, what would people do all day if they didn't get themselves all tied up in knots over something else? Currently, there are some who are questioning the "official U.S. version" of Osama bin Laden's killing. Doubters want to know why they have yet to see stills or video footage of the raid, his corpse, or his burial at sea.

The White House says it's considering whether to release photos of bin Laden after he was killed. Press secretary Jay Carney said:

They are reviewing information and already made a great deal of it public. They are still reviewing the pictures and video to see if it's appropriate to be released ... There are sensitivities in terms of releasing photographs of Osama bin Laden. Does it serve or harm their interests globally. It's fair to say that it's a gruesome photograph.


I absolutely do not see the need for the public to see violent images or video of a killing or photos of a dead man for "proof" of bin Laden's death. (If you need some kind of third-party witness proof, what about the random guy who inadvertently tweeted the raid?)

The only reason anyone is even calling for them to be released in the first place is because they don't trust the government's word. It actually sounds kinda "birther"-ish to me. Funny enough, when the President spoke on Sunday night about the death of Osama bin Laden, I immediately saw tons of Facebook statuses and tweets joking that certain people would probably come out of the woodwork and demand to see "a death certificate ... the long-form!" One person joked, "I wonder if DNA counts as long-form?"

Clearly, these jokes weren't too far off from what we're now dealing with ... a lot of pessimism, suspicion, and desire to gawk. Not that I'm surprised. It's like when the horrific Lara Logan incident was first reported and people were searching for photos or videos of her post-rape. I thought, "What the hell is wrong with people?"

Sadly, a lot. Look, I get not trusting the government. There has been plenty of truth-twisting and outright lying from our leaders before, especially when it comes to the wars we've fought and our sworn enemies. But I do truly believe that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the "official version" of the story is accurate, and that the White House is just proceeding with caution and sensitivity before releasing any grotesque photographs or video. By holding off, they're just being a class act. And hey, all you doubters could get your chance to gawk. The CIA may release one carefully-chosen photo later today. But I certainly won't be searching for it.

What do you think -- do you need to see photos and videos of the killing of Osama bin Laden in order to believe he's dead?


Image via ssoosay/Flickr

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